Owning a Dog or Cat

Understand pet ownership requirements, health and well being in Italy...

The regional Canine Registry Office (Anagrafe Canina Regionale) provides information on registration, loss, dog adoption and regulations governing pet travel in Italy and to other foreign countries.

It is obligatory for a dog to be identified by microchip and registered with the local Anagrafe. It is not compulsory for a cat to have an identification chip or tattoo but is a voluntary option for owners. Registration can help to trace the animal or owner if a pet is lost.

Dogs that were tattooed before 1 January 2004 need not be microchipped, but Italian law states that the dog must be tattooed on its body as well as on its ear (tattooing is being phased out in favour of the microchip system, which will be compulsory by 2011). Only registered veterinarians may tattoo or microchip an animal. The vet will issue identification papers.

The owner must register the dog within 45 days of its birth or 10 days of acquiring it. Newcomers to the region should register their dogs within 10 days of arrival. A fine may be imposed for the non-registration of a dog.

How to Register a Dog

Registration is made at the veterinary services (Servizi Veterinari) of the local ASL. The owner should take:

  • Proof of identity
  • Tax code (codice fiscale)
  • Proof of the dog's inoculation and proof of microchip (these documents are provided by the vet)

The Anagrafe Canina must be notified of a change of ownership, change of address or the death of the animal within 10 days.

All dogs must be kept on a lead in public places and dogs considered dangerous must also wear a muzzle. Dogs on public transport must be on a leash and muzzled.

Recommended Vaccinations

Always consult a vet for legal obligations and local threats. A vet will also be able to advise on treatment to prevent ticks and tapeworm.

  • Dogs should be vaccinated against hepatitis, distemper and kennel cough
  • Cats should be protected from feline gastro-enteritis and typhus